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Hofstra University School of Law and the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project present: Strengthening the Guiding Hand of Counsel: Reforming Capital Defense Systems

Friday, July 25, 2003

  • Organization: Hofstra University School of Law and the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project

The American Bar Association Death Penalty Representation Project
and Hofstra University School of Law Present:

"Strengthening the Guiding Hand of Counsel: Reforming Capital
Defense Systems"

a conference on the American Bar Association
Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases (Rev. ed. 2003)
October 24, 2003 Hofstra Law School

This Event is Free and Open to the Public

Much has been said and written about the inadequacy of capital defense systems and the poor quality of lawyers who represent those charged with or convicted of capital crimes. Death penalty jurisdictions have generally refused to undertake the kind of serious, dedicated effort that is required to ensure that poor people receive competent legal representation. Although the problems are obvious, little has been proposed by way of solutions.

This academic conference, co-hosted by the American Bar Association and Hofstra University School of Law, will kick off a national initiative toward significant reform of capital defense systems in death penalty jurisdictions. The conference will coincide with publication of the ABA Guidelines on the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases in a special edition of the Hofstra Law Review. ABA President Dennis Archer and state bar presidents from several death penalty jurisdictions will attend a national press conference to announce their commitment toward achieving the necessary reforms, including adoption of the ABA Guidelines. Senator Patrick Leahy will deliver a keynote luncheon address on legislative reform efforts.

Conference Agenda (8:30 am to 5:50 pm)

8:30- 9 a.m.: Breakfast and Registration for CLE credits

Third Floor Corridor

9-9:15 a.m.: Welcome

David N. Yellen, Dean & Max Schmertz Distinguished Professor of Law, Hofstra University School of Law

Sidney R. Siben and Walter Siben Moot Courtroom, Room 308

9:15-10:15 a.m.: Ethical Obligations of Counsel in Capital Cases

Lawrence J. Fox, Esq., Drinker Biddle & Reath;
Professor Monroe H. Freedman, Howard Lichtenstein Distinguished Professor of Legal Ethics, Hofstra University School of Law; and
Professor Roy D. Simon, Hofstra University School of Law

Sidney R. Siben & Walter Siben Moot Courtroom, Room 308

10:15-11:15 a.m.: Adequate Funding and Resources for Capital Defender Systems & Counsel

Professor Eric M. Freedman, Hofstra University School of Law, Reporter, ABA Capital Defense Representation Guidelines;
Jim Marcus, Esq., Texas Defender Service; and
Randy Susskind, Esq., Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama

Sidney R. Siben and Walter Siben Moot Courtroom, Room 308

11:30-12 Noon: Special Reception
With ABA President Dennis Archer, Sate Bar Representatives, and Members of the Press

Remarks by President Archer: "Reforms of Capital Defense Systems and Adoption of the ABA Guidelines"; Recognition of the 100th pro bono law firm team recruited by the ABA Death Penalty Representation Project

Leeds Morelli & Brown Atrium, Second Floor

Noon-1:30 p.m.: Luncheon and Keynote Address

Introduction of Luncheon Speaker: Stuart Rabinowitz, President, Hofstra University, Andrew M. Boas & Mark Claster Distinguished Professor of Civil Procedure

Keynote Address: Speaker to be determined

Leeds Morelli & Brown Atrium, Second Floor

1:30-2:30 pm: Wiggins v. Smith and the Importance of Mitigation and Mitigation Specialists in Capital Cases

Pamela Blume Leonard, Chief Death Penalty Mitigation Specialist Multi-County Public Defender Office, Atlanta, GA;
Jill Miller, Forensic Social Work Services, Madison, WI; and
Russell Stetler, Director of Investigations, NY Capital Defender Office

Sidney R. Siben & Walter Siben Moot Courtroom, Room 308

2:30-3:30 p.m.: Independence of the Judiciary and the Appointment of Counsel

Denise LeBouef, Esq., Capital Post Conviction Project of Louisiana; and
Ronald J. Tabak, Esq., Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Co-Chair, Death Penalty Committee, ABA Section on Individual Rights & Responsibilities

Sidney R. Siben and Walter Siben Moot Courtroom, Room 308

3:45-4:45 p.m. Break-out sessions:

1. The Growing Significance of International Law in Capital Cases

Professor Peter J. Spiro, Hofstra University School of Law;
Professor Richard J. Wilson, Director, International Human Rights Clinic American U. Washington College of Law; and

Room 242

2. The Importance of Post-Conviction Review

Professor Alafair S. Burke, Hofstra University School of Law;
Professor James S. Liebman, Simon H. Rifkind Professor of Law Columbia Law School; and
Robin M. Maher, Esq., Director, ABA Death Penalty Representation Project

Sidney R. Siben & Walter Siben Moot Courtroom, Room 308

4:45-5:30 p.m.: Closing Remarks: "Vindicating Claims of Innocence"

Professor Barry C. Scheck, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law Yeshiva University

Sidney R. Siben & Walter Siben Moot Courtroom, Room 308

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